Student Spotlight

Humanity’s Plastic Footprint (II)
April 30, 2018 — Gail Kulisch

[As a graduate student in Virginia Tech's Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR), Gail Kulisch has applied her 28 years of experience in the US Coast Guard protecting the maritime environment from harmful materials that degrade the health of our waters. In Part I of this four-part series, Kulisch introduced the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and its impact on the aquatic food chain. In this installment, she'll discuss why plastics are a such a persistent waste problem.] Plastics – Engineered to Last An important… Read More
Humanity’s Plastic Footprint (I)
April 23, 2018 — Gail Kulisch

[As a graduate student in Virginia Tech's Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR), Gail Kulisch has applied her 28 years of experience in the US Coast Guard protecting the maritime environment from harmful materials that degrade the health of our waters. In Part I of this four-part series, Kulisch will introduce us to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and its impact on marine food chains.] In 1968, Garrett Hardin, a biology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, noted that not every problem… Read More
Transboundary Elephant Conservation
April 9, 2018 — Neil Dampier

As a photographic safari guide I am fortunate to travel to unique and interesting wilderness locations. In January this year I had the opportunity to guide a safari to Zakouma National Park in Chad. Established as a national park in 1963, Zakouma is home to an abundance of diverse fauna and flora. However, Zakouma is also a place of great tragedy as well as hope. Between 2002 and 2010, intensive poaching reduced the park’s elephant population by 90%, to only… Read More
Social Media, e-Commerce, and CITES
March 19, 2018 — Justin Vollmer

A recent study on the role of social media, search engines, and e-commerce in the expansion of global wildlife tracking has caught the attention of the news media.  TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network, has provided extensive documentation of this burgeoning market, causing leading tech companies such as Google, Alibaba, Facebook, Instagram, and others to commit to developing and implementing policies and solutions to reduce demand for and access to illegal plant and animal sales. Prior to 1973, trade in… Read More
Equestrian Facilities as a Luxury Resource (II)
March 12, 2018 — Martha Wehling

In Part I of this two-part series,Master of Natural Resources (MNR) program graduate student Martha Wehling introduced the concept of equine facilities as a luxury resources, and examined the socioeconomic stratification associated with equestrian sports. In the following post, Martha discusses other relevant resource boundaries, including gender disparities, immigrant employment, the impact on natural resources, and the role of natural resource managers. As I explained in the first part of this series, students in Dr. Jennifer Lawrence's Transboundary Resource Management course, including… Read More